NEWS7 November 2017

Digital crises and blockchain promise among 2018 predictions

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US – Next year has been declared the “year of reckoning” by Forrester Research in its Predictions 2018 report which points to customer experience stalling and 60% of execs saying they are falling behind in digital transformation.

Predictions 2018: A year of reckoning looks at the factors most affecting businesses in the coming year.

It claims customer experience (CX) has hit a wall despite becoming “the centrepiece of business strategy”. In 2018, 30% of companies will see further declines in CX performance it predicts, which will translate into a net loss of a point of growth. It added: “Smart executives will intervene to make CX an internal disruptive force, one that is underpinned by the fundamentals of CX management with customer trust at the core.”

And while digital response is needed to meet customer expectations, it is not always being achieved by business. The report points to more than 60% of executives believe they are behind in their digital transformation. “Lagging results have created a loss of confidence in the CIO, driving up the number of chief digital officers and business units creating their own digital strategies. But that misses the point. Digital transformation is a CEO issue and an economic question.”

The rules of the market are changing as power shifts from the institutions to the customer. And Forrester says this is where the machine comes in. “Platforms and associated intelligent agents will collect preferences, behaviours, transactions, and emotions, creating a rich view of an individual.” They will use data to increasingly influence consumer options and decisions. In 2018, 10% of purchase decisions will be guided by a platform’s agent which is the start of significant economic impact of empowered machines.

Other predictions in the report include using intelligent agents to filter out the noise of the day; that 80% of firms affected by GDPR will not comply with the regulation by May 2018; open banking will lay siege to banks’ traditional power centre of data; 75% of AI projects will underwhelm because they fail to model operational considerations, causing business leaders to reset the scope of AI investments; and that rhetoric and enthusiasm will continue to limit blockchain gains.